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Managing wildflowers and clover fields for bees

 
Posts: 173
Location: Montmagny, Québec, Canada (zone 4b)
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Hi,

I am new in honeybees. I will work with a TBH. I have approx 3 hectares of fileds that we sow last spring with a mix a 3 little seeds: clover, vetch and mill. Since we were searching what to do with the fields, we decided to have bees. But I read today that this kind of clover (a red one that is high around my knees) is not really good for bees. There is a bit of wildflowers that grew mix to all this.

My question:

At this time of the year, the clover is in bloom how should I manage the mowing of the field? You should know that apart of those 3 hectares sowed I have another 5 hectares of wild flowers, 2 hectares that has just been mowed, 5 hectares of wildflowers and fruit trees, and 20 hectares of forest.

My plans are to keep this field with clover for bees. So should I let the clover come in seeds and mowed as late as I can or should I cut half the field now and the rest later? Or cut now to have another bloom (if clover can grow another blooming)?

thanks

isabelle
 
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Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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I think white clover is better for bees or maybe just better if you want light honey - not sure. But I've heard white clover, which is shorter than the tall red kind, comes back quickly. If you have any white mixed in you could mow a patch and see how long it takes to grow back.
 
steward
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Location: woodland, washington
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really depends on the clover you've got. there are many. some are annual and won't flower again once you mow, but might reseed with good timing and maybe some sort of preparation of the dirt (running big animals over it, a light pass with a disc harrow or spring-tooth harrow). others are perennial, have a long flowering season, or will flower again after mowing.
 
Isabelle Gendron
Posts: 173
Location: Montmagny, Québec, Canada (zone 4b)
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Actually, I also have white in it. The field has benn sowed but exept for some area, it doesn't really show snce it has so much other flowers in it.

I will mow an area and see how it goes.

Thank you
 
Cj Sloane
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I wonder if you set your mower to the highest position if it'll pass over the white clover entirely? That would be perfect.
 
Isabelle Gendron
Posts: 173
Location: Montmagny, Québec, Canada (zone 4b)
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CJ,
of course I can do that. I will try this. I have read yesterday that the red clover (the tall version), is difficult for bees to reach the nectar with is little tongue. Ok for bumblebees but not honeybees. I also read that it is not supposed to come back after mowed. We will see.

isabelle
 
Cj Sloane
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Isabelle Gendron wrote:I will try this.



Great! How about a before and after pic?
 
Isabelle Gendron
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Ok

Isa
 
Isabelle Gendron
Posts: 173
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CJ,

Here is a pix of the field. My husband mowed a border line to see how it would be. You can see that the white clover is showing.



Isabelle
 
Posts: 134
Location: Canton, NC
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red clover WILL come back after being mowed. Our cows mow it monthly (rotationally grazed) and it comes back and blooms. Now, it doesnt bloom as fast and profusely as white clover, but it does come back
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